Finnish Education and VET
Finnish educational system
The Finnish educational system consists of:
- early childhood education and care (ages 0-5)
- pre-primary education (6 year-olds)
- basic education (7-15 year-olds)
- general upper secondary education
- vocational education and training
- higher education.
To learn more about the Finnish educational system, visit the Finnish National Agency for Education website.
Equality is one of the main values of the Finnish educational system.
Equality is one of the main values of the Finnish educational system. Education is free all the way through higher education and thus quite accessible to all. Most schools are publicly funded and teachers highly educated in both pedagogics and the subject matter they teach. A lot of effort is dedicated to promoting student well-being and supporting different types of learners.
High-quality vocational education and training (VET) gives nations and their economies a skilled professional work force that plays a key role in promoting competitiveness and prosperity.
The Finnish national vocational curricula are strongly competence-based. Qualification requirements are defined by learning outcomes and reflect substantial input from working life. Especially since the vocational education reform of 2018, the national curricula allow room for specialization and unique adjustments based on the student’s skills, experience and interests as well as the local economy’s and companies' needs.
Read more on Finnish VET on the Finnish National Agency for Education website.
The following video by the Finnish National Agency for Education explains the Finnish VET System.
A significant part of Finnish vocational education takes place in the workplace ensuring that the training meets the needs of prospective employers and the local economy. The practical approach also supports an efficient transition into the labor market for Turku Vocational Institute graduates.
Focus on Competence
Building professional competence is the key issue in all vocational education. Finnish vocational qualifications consist of modules with specific competence requirements. The skills required to complete a module can naturally be acquired at the vocational institute or during on-the-job learning periods under teacher guidance, but the required level of competence can also be attained independently.
The key factor is the student’s ability to demonstrate the required skill, knowledge and competence in practical work in a skills demonstration. For students with some background in their chosen field, this can lead to shorter studies and faster graduation, because they are not required to spend time on skills they have already mastered.